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July 02, 2006

Sunday Sermonette: Oppo research edition

Nurse Lebo spots a real gem:

Kirk Cameron is taught by his Aussie guest - in two minutes or less - how bananas prove the existence of God as an intelligent creator. And in the same sentence offers proof of evolution. And in the same sentence uses more sexual double entendres than previously thought possible. You tell me if you think Kirk is blushing in the glow of another revelation related to Christ, or because he cant believe that guy just put his thumb and index fingers around a banana just so.

Watch it, heathens.


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» Refuting Evolution with ... a Banana? from Scott Paeth's Semi-Daily Blog
I missed posting on this the first time around, but since it's come up again over at Majikthise, I'm going to take the opportunity to link to the funniest attempt to refute evolution I've ever seen. Here's the set up: [Read More]


Children shouldn't watch this video!

can't wait for the installment on the cucumber

Great Philosophers in Christian Thought:

Thomas Aquinas. Thomas More. St. Augustine. ...Kirk Cameron.

One of these things is not like the other, one of these things does not belong...

Can someone clue those of us without access to internet provided video in? What do bananas (the most common varieties being seedless sports of nature that would not exist but for humans having propagated them) have to do with natural evolution or supposed intelligent design?

Kirk Cameron's guest says that the banana is the atheist's worst nightmare because it's so perfectly designed to be eaten by humans. It's hand-held, it changes color to indicate ripeness, it's pre-packaged with a pull-tab opener, it curves elegantly in the user's hand, it's just the right size and shape to fit comfortably into the mouth, it's yummy and nutritious....

(Judgemental produce pedantry: Bananas make me want to puke! I like peaches. Everyone else should, too. No woman has ever really enjoyed a banana. Women who eat bananas and bake banana bread are just tools of Bob Dole and Carmen Miranda.)

Thank you for the info ... personally I love bananas more than a straight guy should (well, actually, to be pedantic, it's plantains I love more than a straight guy should). Still, do these people realize that maybe the reason why bananas are such perfectly designed food is because we humans selected banana cultivars which had the properties we like? Do these people not know about selective breeding? And why should we trust people who don't understand the origin of, e.g., bananas which they presumably ought to have at least wikipedia'd before making claims based on them, to coin a verb if it ain't already coined, to explain to us the origin of species?

Indeed, not all banana varieties change color in the same way, not all varieties fit so snugly in the hand, etc. Where do these people shop? Even in Talla-frickin-hassee where I live now, while there is not the selection I'm used to from the tri-state (NJ/NY/CT) area, you see different varieties of bananas in the store ...

I bet these people, if they were Jewish, would believe that God created the first pair of tongs rather than taking Pirke Avot 5:9 to be an excellent and most underappreciated example of Rabbinic snarkiness. For those who don't get the reference, Pirke Avot 5:9 contains a claim that God created the first pair of tongs: because you need a pair of tongs to forge another pair of tongs (the Rabbis were smart enough not to believe this I would think -- so I would take Pirke Avot 5:9 to be a snark on certain aspects of Hellenistic philosophy that in our modern day are endemic amongst the Intelligent Design crowd). This is exactly the kind of argument "the watch presupposes a watch maker" Intelligent Design folks use -- except do the Intelligent Design folks then argue that God must have created tongs? Maybe so, considering they are claiming bananas, bred by humans, are Intelligently Designed ... unless they claim we humans created everything including ourselves? Now that's a strange loop: maybe involving time travel? I see a science fiction novel: "god" is really an advanced being traveling back in time to create the universe in which advanced beings live ...

Oh well, I've digressed ...

That's not any ordinary guest. That's Kirk's mentor Ray Comfort...

"No woman has ever really enjoyed a banana."

Umm... nope, too easy.

The tri-state (NJ/NY/CT) area, you see different varieties of bananas in the store

It's a great tri-state region, isn't it? So many kinds of bananas, so little time.

So what about all of the other types of fruit that don't have, say, the soda-like pull tab? Was God cutting corners that day? I'd eat more oranges if they were easier to peel.

The best part of the banana as "problem for evolution" is that they reproduce asexually, have very little genetic diversity and are therefore extremely susceptible to blights and extinction. They're basically a textbook case for evolution.

Clearly, God outsourced the design of the pineapple to some less competent deity.

The best part of the banana as "problem for evolution" is that they reproduce asexually, have very little genetic diversity and are therefore extremely susceptible to blights and extinction. They're basically a textbook case for evolution. - MattT


The banana that evolved, of course, reproduces sexually, has reasonable genetic diversity, etc. ... but its seeds make it awkward for eating. We, intelligent designers that we are, found some sports of nature bananas (i.e. triploids with bigger fruit and smaller seeds) and selected them 'cause they ... er ... fit so nicely in our hands.

So yes ... one can make many arguments based on a banana (and I'm sure Freudians do), including some arguments about human hubris (intelligent design, anyone?) ... even maybe a metaphysical design argument about what a wonderful system of nature it is where a sport of nature can be a favorite fruit of so many people and how that system reflects its Creator. But an argument for a physical, not meta-physical, notion of design (which distinction is obfuscated by Intelligent Design proponants -- they want to have science give them their morality and fear any science which does not: but the ultimate effect of "teaching the debate" is to continue this obfuscation -- which makes me, being paranoid wonder if the whole ID thing is just an excuse to try and trick kids into believing in social Darwinism)? Ya gotta be smoking the banana peels to believe that one.

I know ... I know ... it's just an urban legend, but if you are willing to believe in ID based on the design of a banana, maybe you can convince yourself to get high from the peels ...

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